World of Coins

Modern coins, pseudo coins and trade tokens of other continents => Pacific Islands => Topic started by: andyg on July 25, 2011, 06:50:46 PM

Title: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: andyg on July 25, 2011, 06:50:46 PM
This set of 'coins' seems to be one of the first NCLT sets, question - why are they so keenly sought after?
Sold £285.07, ebay recently.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Figleaf on July 25, 2011, 10:54:19 PM
No idea why anyone would want them. Did the winning bid come from New Zealand? >:D

NCLT is quite a bit older. It all depends on definition. Maybe the coins of ancient Olympia were souvenirs. Many, if not all big Roman gold coins were for bribes, diplomacy and rewards only, like the giant Mughal coins. The Schauthalers of Braunschweig certainly were for looking at only. The quarter gulden of the Republic were not issued for circulation, but some seem to have made it into circulation(?) Anyway, these are not LT, therefore by definition NC.

Not the first fantasy "state" either. I think Lundy holds that dubious honour.

Peter
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on July 25, 2011, 11:56:50 PM
Coinage of these islands, which is now Australian territory, is keenly collected by Australian collectors.

In 1913 John Sidney Clunies-Ross IV introduced seven ivory [bone] coin denominations to the islands along with Sheepskin notes with denominations of ¼,½, 1, 2, 3 and 4 rupees.
In 1969, Clunies-Ross V replaced the islands' ivory coinage with coloured plastic rupees and cents.
 
In 1827, John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish trader and sea captain settled on Home Island. Between 1831 and 1857, the Cocos Islands constituted a feudal fiefdom ruled by John Clunies-Ross. In 1886, Queen Victoria relinquished control of the islands to the Clunies-Ross family, In 1978, under increasing pressure, King Ross V relinquished control of the islands to Australia for a reported $6.25 million.

In 1977, Clunies-Ross V introduced the first metal currency to the Cocos-Keeling Islands with $100,000 worth of coins minted to his orders in Switzerland. The move was designed to head off a plan by the Australian Government to extend Australian currency to the islands. Individually boxed and numbered sets of the coins were also prepared for collectors.

Source... http://www.australianstamp.com/coin-web/keeling/keeling.htm
 (http://www.australianstamp.com/coin-web/keeling/keeling.htm)

Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Figleaf on July 26, 2011, 12:29:57 AM
My source - British Commonwealth Coins, by Jerome Remick et al, 3rd edition, Winnipeg 1971 - has a significantly different story:

"(...) they became a British possession in 1857. In 1878 they were placed under the government of Ceylon. In 1882 they came under the directorship of the Straits Settlements and in 1903 they were transferred to the Straits Settlements being incorporated with the crown colony of Singapore. On November 3, 1955, the islands were placed under Australian administration."

No mention of Victoria or anyone else granting the sovereignty of the islands to Clunies-Ross and the transfer of the islands from Straits Settlements to Singapore is at variance with the story of Victoria giving up sovereignty. This may be a myth spread by the Clunies-Ross family. I seem to remember that the Australian government challenged the claim of Clunies-Ross of sovereignty in court and won. I think I also read somewhere that the family was banished from the islands after accusations of gross misconduct, amounting to slavery.

From the same source: "The first currency issued was a set of sheepskin tokens issued in 1887 (...)"

"A set of banknotes dated 1902 replaced the sheepskin tokens"

"Tokens made of ivory were issued in 1913 (...) The tokens were good only for exchange in the local store on the islands by the laborers who cultivated the coconut palm tree, the only export (...) The tokens were used until 1956 when they were replaced with Australian coinage."

"The data for this section was taken from various articles and personal communications from Ray Byrne"

"The 1968 plastic tokens are for use only on the Clunies-Ross Estate for internal accounting. Australian currency is the only legal tender on the island."

I think it is safe to conclude that while the Clunies-Ross clan ran the islands as a personal fief, they had only a claim to to the land, not its sovereignty or Australia would have lost in court. The token series of 1887 may well have circulated. Those of 1913 were used for trucking (probably forbidden by Australian law at that time, as it was banned in most of the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_Acts).) Those of 1968 were counters and later series are fantasies.

Peter
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on July 26, 2011, 12:53:05 AM
The islands were annexed by the British Empire in 1857. Queen Victoria granted the islands in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family in 1886. The Cocos Islands under the Clunies-Ross family have been cited as an example of a 19th-century micronation.
On 23 November 1955, the islands were transferred to Australian control under the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955. In the 1970s, the Australian government's dissatisfaction with the Clunies-Ross feudal style of rule of the island increased. In 1978, Australia forced the family to sell the islands for the sum of A$6,250,000, using the threat of compulsory acquisition. John Clunies-Ross now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

See Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocos_%28Keeling%29_Islands  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocos_%28Keeling%29_Islands)
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: villa66 on July 26, 2011, 07:04:00 AM
I have the apparently disreputable 2004 set, but I was happy to get them--it's probably the closest I'll ever get to the ivory tokens, which, the first time I saw them as a kid in a magazine article (complete with views of palm trees and faraway beaches), seemed very romantic and desirable.

 :) v.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on July 26, 2011, 07:40:50 AM
Yes they have always appealed to me, I should have bought some years ago before the prices took off. It is now generally agreed that these are in fact bone not ivory. A set of seven tokens, listed separately, is being sold in in the Noble auction in Melbourne today; in fact, no doubt going under the hammer as I write this. Prices range $750, $900, and down to $250 for the various tokens. Three parchment notes from 1902, values one tenth, quarter and five rupees are listed for sale later this week. est200.

Quote
I seem to remember that the Australian government challenged the claim of Clunies-Ross of sovereignty in court and won.

In fact the Australian government were underhand in that they blocked his exports forcing Clunies-Ross into bankruptcy so that he gave up his struggle to retain power.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Afrasi on July 26, 2011, 09:53:35 AM
Like villa66 I was fascinated by these "ivory" tokens since my childhood. Many years ago I managed to buy one for a reasonable price.  :D
With today's prices I would not be able to do it again ...  :o
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Harald on July 31, 2011, 01:26:44 PM
"The 1968 plastic tokens are for use only on the Clunies-Ross Estate for internal accounting. Australian currency is the only legal tender on the island."

It is interesting to note that the 1968 tokens sometimes come in rather low grades. Seems the accountants were extremely busy
or the pieces were indeed used for some sorts of payments.
Mr Remick is right that the Australian currency has been the only legal tender since 1955. However the "rupee" was par with the
Singapore dollar, which probably was the predominant circulating medium.

cheers
--
Harald
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on July 31, 2011, 02:09:49 PM
Here is the BBC version of the story I have heard before..

John Clunies-Ross ...  ...paid his Malay workers in Cocos rupees, a currency he minted himself and which could only be redeemed at the company store.

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6730047.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6730047.stm)
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Figleaf on July 31, 2011, 02:16:38 PM
I wonder if they were at par with the Sing dollar or the Straits dollar/Ringgit. The latter dominated payments to coolies, which is exactly what Clunies-Ross treated the hired hands like. There are reports on continued trucking (see the above BBC report), so the circulation from the Clunies-Ross estate to the workers to the Clunies-Ross shop may well have been in token form before 1955. Afterwards, one would expect at least an Australian constable, keeping an eye on things. As for the 1968 issues, I would expect that a bunch were used in accounting, thus worn, while the rest was sold to collectors with nothing in-between.

Peter
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on July 31, 2011, 02:27:36 PM
I don't believe the Australian coins reached Cocos Keeling islands until 1978. [when they bought the islands]

this statement seems to back that up...

In 1977, Clunies-Ross V introduced the first metal currency to the Cocos-Keeling Islands with $100,000 worth of coins minted to his orders in Switzerland. The move was designed to head off a plan by the Australian Government to extend Australian currency to the islands. Individually boxed and numbered sets of the coins were also prepared for collectors

From http://www.australianstamp.com/coin-web/keeling/decimal/decimal.htm (http://www.australianstamp.com/coin-web/keeling/decimal/decimal.htm)

That would account for ten years wear to the 1968 issue.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on August 24, 2011, 03:33:53 AM
Like villa66 I was fascinated by these "ivory" tokens since my childhood. Many years ago I managed to buy one for a reasonable price.  :D
With today's prices I would not be able to do it again ...  :o

Today I  received the prices realised at the recent Noble auction. the one rupee nEF made A$420
[the fifty-cents, tagged as one of the finest known, made $1500]

In line with the remarks I made previously, they were all listed in the auction catalogue as 'Bone'.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on September 27, 2011, 12:29:37 PM
This thread induced me to buy a 1/10th Rupee that I saw going cheaply.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: natko on June 29, 2014, 11:13:58 PM
Thanks malj1 for pointing out this thread, it didn't end up in search results for me. I'm also really interested in status of the '77 set, especially since that sentence you cited two times about the regular status of '77 coins. Well, intention is relevant, since it should be determined were the coins made for circulation or only for the sets. Even if circulated they were obviously demonetized and withdrawn in '78.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: malj1 on June 30, 2014, 12:21:25 AM
See also Cocos (Keeling) Islands - Official Tokens of 2004 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,2128.msg10475.html#msg10475)

It would be interesting to know the mintage of each of the 1977 coins.

After allowing for 8000 gold [150 rupees] and 20,000 silver [25 and 10 rupees] and 10,000 mint sets plus an unknown quantity of the 7 piece mint set, there would not be much left out of AU$100.000 for any of the remaining lower denominations to actually circulate.

Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: MORGENSTERNN on July 24, 2015, 01:45:21 PM
Hello
I got a french book "Les monnaies du monde du XXe siècle" - 1987 that is quite complete (with list of chinese provinces and the main indian princely states)
The authors separate the token issues (1913 & 1968) from the 1977 issue that is described as a legal tender coinage on the island with parity with Singapore Dollar

The coins from 5 cents to 5 rupees are listed as circulating currency with low prices (the higher price was 50F. about 7,5€ for the 5 rupees in UNC grade)

The 10, 25 (silver) and 150 (gold) rupees are listed as medals/collector issues
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Figleaf on July 24, 2015, 08:18:47 PM
The only legal authority over the islands in 1977 is Australia. There is no reason for Australia to declare the Sing dollar legal tender anywhere in Australia. The series was certainly neither produced nor issued by the Australian government. You are the victim of a combination of Clunies-Ross propaganda and numismatic authors copying each other unthinkingly.

Peter
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: MORGENSTERNN on July 24, 2015, 10:42:00 PM
Thank you to clarify it for me
So if I well understand the only currency that ever circulate (except AUD) was the 1913 plastic/bone token series (the next coloured series seems less interesting)
Great one more territory to search for !
(I also collect circulating token)
By the way what do you think about the holed ones should I avoid them ?
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Afrasi on July 24, 2015, 11:37:37 PM
So if I well understand the only currency that ever circulate (except AUD) was the 1903 plastic/bone token series ...

The bone tokens are of 1913, but there are earlier chits of 1902.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: MORGENSTERNN on July 24, 2015, 11:41:29 PM
corrected !
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: plasticman on May 02, 2016, 06:52:58 PM
I can't believe that I have not picked up this thread before, but the earlier 1910/1913 coins are made of Celluloid and the 1960s ones were injection moulded from polyacetal (also known as polyformaldehyde) plastic.
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Figleaf on May 02, 2016, 07:00:29 PM
Which means that your celluloid warning (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/wiki/Conservation_of_UK_transport_tokens) applies to these series, I guess. Important information for those who own these tokens!

Peter
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: Abhay on December 05, 2018, 12:20:53 PM
Acquired this Rupee for USD 230.00.

Abhay
Title: Re: Keeling-Cocos set 1977
Post by: plasticman on December 05, 2018, 01:11:00 PM
not sure where the 1977 comes from, they are 1913 and made from Celluloid